Bugles in the Afternoon (1952)

Approved  |   |  Romance, Western  |  1952 (UK)
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Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

After violently attacking a fellow officer Lt. Edward Garnett, cavalry Captain Kern Shafter is court martialled. Later, he rejoins the army with Custer's regiment at Fort Lincoln, Dakota, becoming a sergeant, where he runs into his old foe.



(screenplay) (as Geoffrey Homes) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Kern Shafter
Helena Carter ...
Josephine Russell
Capt. Edward Garnett
Capt. Myles Moylan
James Millican ...
Sgt. Hines
Gertrude Michael ...
Stuart Randall ...
Bannack Bill
William 'Bill' Phillips ...


Kern Shafter arrives at a Dakota army post to find it commanded by his old nemesis Edward Garnett. Shafter and Garnett despise each other, and the antagonism ripens in a competition for the affections of Josephine Russell, a beautiful young woman. Garnett repeatedly attempts to diminish Shafter in Josephine's eyes, and he sends Shafter on dangerous missions, clearly hoping Shafter will not return. A scouting mission in support of General Custer's command leads both Shafter and Garnett into the most dangerous circumstance of their lives. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Romance | Western


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Release Date:

1952 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die schwarzen Reiter von Dakota  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


There is a city named Shafter which is located in Kern County. It is unknown whether this influenced the name of the lead character, Kern Shafter. Could it just be a coincidence? See more »


Obvious stunt doubles used in the fight between Shafter and Donavan and in the two fights between Shafter and Garnett. See more »


Edited from They Died with Their Boots On (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

great beginning, can't keep up, still worth seeing
21 January 2013 | by (S. Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

This film starts with Colonel Kern Shafter (Ray Milland) being dishonorably discharged, no doubt the best scene of the movie. And there lies the problem, to keep up the movie on the same level. Perhaps with John Ford and Victor McLaglen (Forrest Tucker as a good guy, come on!!), or Anthony Mann or Budd Boetticher, this might have been achieved, not an easy task. But still, this is a good western, built around Custer's last stand. Hugh Marlowe is Capt. Edward Garnett, Shafter's rival before the film starts and also his rival after, on account of two different women the latter (Josephine Russel) played by lovely Helena Carter. One might ask what motivation was behind Shafter placing himself under the command of Garnett after having stabbed him in the past, but the film does not elaborate on that. On the other hand, very good action, and cavalry scenes, and great scenery. Just lower your expectations after the beginning and you are on to a good entertainment.

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